As a manager, I judge myself by several markers: whether my staff feels empowered and respected; whether I’ve offered them the tools, support and guidance to produce their best work; the quality of our staff’s overall output as a team; and honestly (though perhaps selfishly), whether or not they like me.

And although I believe all of these markers influence each individual staff member’s level of engagement with their job, I admit I never considered whether or not specifically keeping them engaged was part of my job description.

And that, according to Right Management, is a problem.

Right Management, a talent and career management arm within Manpower, found in a recent survey that although managers influence the job commitment and satisfaction of employees, as many as one-in-three are not held accountable for engagement levels in their organization.
The group asked 357 senior HR professionals in an online poll conducted in May, “Does your organization hold leaders accountable for employee engagement?”

The pros responded:
* Yes, sometimes but not formally (46%).
* No, we do not track (33%).
* Yes, consistently (18%).
* I don’t know (3%).
Needless to say, the folks at RM were not happy. “If leaders are not held accountable for employee motivation or commitment then employees are lacking in direction and may be left to flounder,” says Michael Haid, SVP of global solutions at Right Management. “The behaviors that most influence engagement need to be linked to performance expectations … But in my experience, most companies don’t know how to identify the behaviors that most foster strong engagement, let alone be able to track their efficacy.”

Jeez, just kick managers while they’re down, why don’t you?

So, how exactly should managers enhance and then track employee engagement? RM doesn’t say, just that it’s a complex challenge that “is different for each industry and country…and even each organization,” according to Haid.

Not quite the silver bullet you might have hoped for.

What do you think? How important is it for managers to be accountable for employee engagement? How should companies go about tracking engagement levels: Are 360 reviews enough, or is there more? If engagement levels are low, does it necessarily mean a manager is bad or ineffective? Sound off in the comments.

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